Spatchcock A Go-Go

Posted by on Nov 22, 2016 in Chicken and Turkey | 3 comments


Spatchcock, a late 18th-century cooking term, probably Irish, refers to dispatching a capon. Nowadays, chickens and even turkeys are popularly ‘spatchcocked’ which means to cut out the backbone, lay open and flatten as one piece— like, butterflying for birds.


If you find yourself downsizing from large family meals, cooking for a few or two, this method seems celebratory, fancy and delightful…


Begin with a ‘rack’ of fresh vegetables. I use carrots, parsnips, pumpkin, onions and celery or any combination of aromatics on hand.  Not only do the hard vegetables provide a resting place, they roast on their own absorbing luscious juices and flavors.   In this sequence, after I used scissors to remove the spine, I arranged onions and


Delicata squash with a bundle of fresh sage leaves.


Dry the chicken with paper towels and liberally salt both sides of the bird. I chose olive oil mixed with fresh garlic, and strands of exotic saffron to season the top side, creating a flavor  profile and a vehicle to crisp the skin.


Set the chicken on top of the seasoned vegetables.  This is best done hours in advance (set the roasting pan uncovered in the refrigerator).  Set chicken on the counter 30 to 45 minutes before you cook it; this allows it to reach room temperature.  Roast the chicken at a high temperature (450 degrees) for 30 to 40 minutes, depending on the size;


then add 1 cup of white wine or stock and continue to cook until the thigh meat (away from the bone) reaches 160 degrees.


Remove from the oven and cover the pan, allowing the juices to redistribute.

Lift out the chicken and cut into pieces, placing them on a platter with the vegetables.

Place the pan on the stovetop over low heat.  Scrape up the brown bits; add a tablespoon of butter and cook until slightly thickened.


Adjust the seasonings and pour over the platter of chicken and roasted vegetables.

Cozy and comforting; this will remind you of long ago; you know, back in Ireland



  1. 11-22-2016

    Wow…This looks fantastic! In order to get the top of the chicken to brown well, do you turn it over at all?

  2. 11-22-2016

    Suzie, If you use a shallow skillet (like cast iron) the high temperature will brown the skin nicely. Make sure you pour the wine or stock on the side of the chicken, not on top of it…

  3. 11-23-2016

    What a great recipe.

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